Technics SL-1200MK2 Turntable Reviews

Technics SL-1200MK2 Turntable

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Have you mastered Technics SL-1200MK2 Turntable?

Apr 19, 2004
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Offers plenty of great torque and accurate pitch adjustment.

Cons:Things are changing in the DJ business due to new technology (CD's, MP3's).

The Bottom Line: Technics SL-1200MK2 is a great turntable recognized as an industry standard.

Bedroom DJ’s along with Professional DJ’s want solid equipment that will not only stand up to live audiences but also works in the wee hours of the night when you are mixing music alone with your headphones. Before purchasing Technics SL-1200MK2 Turntable I knew of its reputation and have an extensive experience with the Technics line of equipment. In the DJ industry the SL-1200 MK2, is known as a legendary industry leader in direct drive turntables. My introduction and use of the Technic 1200 dates back to the early 80’s when funk music was in its heyday. Although I never made it in the big leagues I've recieved a few hand claps and drunken cheers at some of the local BBQ's and weddings I've worked.

Right off the bat, it is important to note that the SL-1200MK2 is not for novices; it’s designed and made for professionals looking a quality turntable. Although I converted my collection to CD’s, I still purchase extended album singles. Albeit albums are bulky and costly when compared to disc, there is nothing like the feel of vinyl on your fingertips, simply writing this review gives me a certain amount of euphoric goose bumps.


The SL-1200MK2 is designed for 33-1/3 rpm, 45 rpm records, sucking up about 14 watts of power running on a standard AC120V, 60Hz power supply. The turntable has a superior direct drive mechanism beating a cheap belt drive any day. Technics SL-1200MK2 is sturdy and reliable with excellent torque and precision when spinning a record. Once the tonearm hits the record on the slipmat you are off to the races getting a quick start up match with this unit’s unyielding accuracy. The turntable has plenty of torque for mixing.

I like the fact that the SL-1200MK2 allows you the ability to adjust the tempo of tracks by sliding the lever next to tonearm. Adjusting the speed of the platter is easy and the adjustment range is nice with the quartz lock pitch adjustment lever that goes up to +/-8%. In my opinion this is plenty of range for those that like enjoy change the tempo of a song. The silver turntable is robust and strong mounted on a rubber four-post base. The bulky removable plastic dust cover offers a decent amount of protection when storing the turntable.

The Needle:

Technics SL-1200MK2 has a sensitive low-mass tonearm with excellent suspension. No need to tape the proverbial penny on the back, the arm has never jumped when the needles in play. The tonearm is solid and extremely comfortable to use especially with the “S” arm shape. For me the “S” shape means easy handling and control. When I purchase my SL-1200MK2 it came with the appropriate cartridges and styli. The SL-1200MK2 uses Technics EPC-U1200 cartridge, which cost approximately $99.000 a pop. It is important to remember that when you use a turntable like this you are using professional equipment and you are going to pay more for quality. The end results are magnificent with a sound unmatched by the cheaper turntables on the market. The SL-1200MK2 captures subtle musical nuances providing a crispy clear reproduction of sound.

Set Up:

Put away your tools! Technics SL-1200MK2 comes with the standard integral rotor-platter direct drive motor and molded aluminum die cast cabinet with the rubber base. For experience DJ’s it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3; all you have to do is plug it in with all the provided wires and you’re ready to go. I only own one SL-1200MK2 using it with my two CD players. The SL-1200MK2 is a stand-alone accessory, which means you’ll need a quality mixer, and speakers. The main reason I continue to practice and use this particular turntable is because it is a preferred choice in clubs, and if I ever leave the bedroom and make it in the big leagues, I’ll be ready to spin with the best of them. Please note, not all SL-1200MK2’s come with a cartridge and stylus. However the cartridge is easy to screw-on and mount.

Final Thoughts:

Technics SL-1200MK2 Quartz Synthesizer Direct-Drive Turntable is a long time industry standards with an excellent reputation for quality performances. The only thing better is direct drive digital with a built-in CD player and SD card slot and that’s another review. This is a serious analog turntable. If you have the cheese then I would definitely recommend getting this. I highly recommend SL-1200MK2, and think it’s a 5 star unit, now for the big question, “can you handle it?”

Turntable Specs:

· Aluminum die cast cabinet and
· Heavy rubber base
· Pitch Adjustment Up To +/-8%
· Low-mass tonearm with gimbal suspension
· Helicoid Tonearm

Note: My review is on the silver colored turntable as noted in the picture above, but the black finish is also available.

Recommend this product? Yes

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